In literal minutes.
This blog post will teach you how to create your first-ever portfolio on Canva, designed to impress!
You’re a new freelancer looking to land your first gig.
You’ve been scouring job posts and job application websites, trying to find a description that matches your freelancing skills.
A part-time gig is great, but a part-time job that has the potential to grow into a full-time position is even better.
What is a portfolio?
You come across the same roadblock everywhere — you’re required to submit a curriculum vitae (CV) or a resume. According to The Balance Careers, a resume is competency-based. It showcases your personal and working skills, achievements, and experiences.
A CV is credential-based, providing information about your education, literary accomplishments, professional affiliations, and memberships.
A portfolio is a mixture of the above — it is a report that represents your qualifications, training, experiences, past work, and education. You’ll need an impressive one when vying against hundreds of other candidates for the same post.
Creating a portfolio on Canva
- First off, you must have a Canva account. The good news is that it’s free, and you don’t need to subscribe to the paid version for your portfolio creation.
2. Go to create a design, and key in the word ‘portfolio’. You’ll be presented with a series of choices — of which you can pick one that suits your skills the best.
In this case, I picked the first one, Online Portfolio, and I am brought to a page with numerous options on the left.
My recommendation is instead of having to start designing your portfolio from scratch, pick one that resonates with your style and tweak it to make it perfect.
Most of these ready templates come with 6–8 plug-and-play pages, and you can add or delete them as you like, depending on the amount of information you have on hand. When you hover your cursor over any of the templates, the pictures will swipe left automatically to show you the rest of the pages.
3. Once you see a collection that you like, click on it and you will be asked if you want to use all 6–8 pages of those templates, or if you only like a particular page.
In this way, you can add pages from different templates (1 page from each template) and tweak the background colors and the fonts to match your style. With different pages from different templates, you are exposed to a wider range of choices and hence the opportunity to make your portfolio look more impressive, especially if you’re a photographer or a designer.
4. When you click on the template of your choice, you are also given the name of the font that is used, as well as the series of color combinations that make up the template.
5. Whether you decide to use just one page or the whole 6 pages (using the example above), upon clicking on the color palette, you will be supplied with the template’s main colors (a new feature of Canva’s, actually) on your left. Clicking on those colors will give you the hex codes. This allows you to select the colors you like from different templates to make up your brand colors.
6. Jot down the hex codes of the colors that especially appeal to you.
7. Once you’ve got the colors and the templates ready, you can start to plug in your skills, your education, training, and whatever it is that will make you come across as impressive and experienced.
8. No past work to showcase? Don’t sweat it — offer one to two free jobs (designing jobs, website design jobs, photography jobs) to 1–2 clients in return for testimonials. Decide the scope of the free work you want to do and charge for anything extra. Boom! You will get two projects and testimonials under your belt within a week or two. You may even be getting repeat customers, this time paying ones!
Plug those into your portfolio and you’re good to go!
Creating portfolios, resumes, CVs, and cover letters
You can also create resumes and CVs separately in Canva — just key in resume or CV or cover letter in the typebar that appears when you click on ‘Create New Design’.
Remember — the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text — so an impression is made within half a second upon your prospective employer setting eyes on your portfolio, without even reading the text. Your color combination, font combinations, and design will be crucial in determining whether you pass the first round of inspection or not.
More to come on Canva’s color schemes and palettes!
Want to put your own picture on the portfolio? Here are 5 tricks to look good on camera, even if you’re a total rookie!